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Old 08-06-2011, 12:29 AM   #1
Cirsium's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Midwest
bumblebee Bee Basics - An Introduction to Our Native Bees

Bee Basics

An Introduction to Our Native Bees

A USDA Forest Service and Pollinator Partnership Publication
Beatriz Moisset, Ph.D.
Stephen Buchmann, Ph.D
Native bees are a hidden treasure. From alpine meadows in the national forests of the Rocky Mountains to the Sonoran Desert in the Coronado National Forest in Arizona and from the boreal forests of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska to the Ocala National Forest in Florida, bees can be found anywhere in North America, where flowers bloom. From forests to farms, from cities to wildlands, there are 4,000 native bee species in the United States, from the tiny Perdita minima to large carpenter bees.
Native bees come in a wide array of sizes, shapes, and colors. They are also varied in their life styles, the places they frequent, the nests they build, the flowers they visit, and their season of activity. They remain ignored or unknown by most of us. Yet, they provide an invaluable ecosystem service, pollination, to 80 percent of flowering plants. What would our world be like without the beauty of flowering trees, shrubs, and wildflowers? How many of us know that bees pollinate approximately 75 percent of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables grown in this country?
Bees are efficient foragers. One example is the southeastern blueberry bee, Habropoda laboriosa, a hard working little creature capable of visiting as many as 50,000 blueberry flowers in her short life and pollinating enough of them to produce more than 6,000 ripe blueberries. At market those 6,000 blueberries are worth approximately $20 or more. Not every bee that you see flitting about may be worth $20, but all of them combined keep the world of flowering plants going. The world as we know it would not exist if there were no bees to pollinate the earth’s 250,000 flowering plants.
"We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us.
When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."
Aldo Leopold

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Old 08-06-2011, 09:31 AM   #2
A Bee's Best Friend
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chicago Illinois USA

Excellent read. So much information in one source. I read "The
forgotten Pollinators" by Buchmann and associates when it first came out back in the 1990's and was moved to dedicate our garden to pollinator habitat. Beatriz claims to be retired but keeps looking into problems and informing the public. Seems once nature sears your soul you are committed for life.
"Half Earth Quest" Edward O. Wilson

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